Republican presidential candidates are blasting Hillary Clinton over the Democratic frontrunner’s assertion that the United States is “finally where we need to be” in the fight against the ISIS — and her unsubstantiated claim that the terror group is using a video of Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric as a recruiting tool.
“We now finally are where we need to be,” Clinton said during Saturday’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire. “We have a strategy and a commitment to go after ISIS. … And we finally have a U.N. Security Council resolution bringing the world together to go after a political transition in Syria.”
Her GOP rivals and other top Republicans pounced.
“No @HillaryClinton,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tweeted. “We are not ‘where we need to be’ in fight against ISIS.”
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush)
“Oh my gosh. With dead bodies in Paris, dead bodies in San Bernardino and no plan from this administration to deal with it, we’re finally where we need to be?“ New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on ABC’s "This Week With George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. “Mrs. Clinton is Mrs. Happy Talk, and she just wants to happy-talk her way to the presidency. She is a personification of this administration: Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?”
"She’s wrong,” Carly Fiorina said on “Fox News Sunday,” saying Clinton will “lie as long as you can get away with it.”
“It’s pretty clear from what Hillary Clinton said last night that she thinks things are just fine,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “This illustrates the election of Hillary Clinton would be a third term for Barack Obama’s foreign policy.”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, though, was less forceful in his critique of Clinton, saying it’s difficult to get a coalition on the ground willing to fight ISIS.
“I would like to [have] Saudis, Kuwaitis, Jordanians all on the ground fighting ISIS. But most of them still want to fight from the air and not from the ground,” Paul said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “So really, no, I don’t think we quite have [gotten where we need to be]. I think that the concept is good. Yes, we need Sunni Muslims on the ground. But I don’t think we quite have it in order yet.”
“He is becoming ISIS’ best recruiter,” Clinton said. “They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”
While many critics of Trump say his anti-Muslim rhetoric could help the terror group in its recruitment, it’s unclear whether such a video exists.
Jen Palmieri, communications director of the Clinton campaign, told Stephanopoulos that the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors the activity of terror organizations like ISIS online, “said that [terrorists] are using [Trump] in social media as propaganda to help recruit supporters.”
But Palmieri admitted that the former secretary of state “didn’t have a particular video in mind.”
“It’s nonsense,” Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “It’s just another Hillary lie. She lies like crazy about everything, whether it’s trips where she was being gunned down in a helicopter or an airplane. She’s a liar and everybody knows that. But she just made this up in thin air.”
“There’s no such video,” Trump said on “This Week.” “And they may make one up, knowing the Clintons and knowing Hillary, but there’s no — there’s nobody — she just made it up. I mean she made it up. It was a sound bite.